To view our Reserve leaflet, please click on the following link: Lindisfarne NNR Leaflet
On the edge of Britain land and water meet. Tidal mudflats, saltmarshes and dunes combine to create a place which is home to fascinating plants and to a food supply that attracts bird visitors from thousands of miles away.
The Reserve (3,541 hectares) protects a long stretch of coast, including the dunes of Holy Island. Natural England works to ensure that the birds and plants of the area continue to survive in harmony with each other and the people who live and visit here.
Why visit: At Lindisfarne experience a sense of wilderness and tranquillity with its wide expansive sandy beaches, big skies and the ever present, ever changing North Sea. Along with the fabulous summer dune flowers and huge influx of visiting birds every autumn and winter, there’s always something to see. Get the island experience as the Reserve also encompasses parts of Holy Island, which can only be reached at low tide across the causeway.
Star Species: Every autumn the skies fill with migratory birds escaping the cold arctic winters. Amongst them are the light bellied brent geese who travel from Svalbard with their young families to feed on the rich mudflats, this is their only regular wintering site in Britain, accommodating 40% of the world population.
Dogs on the reserve
Dogs are required to be kept on a short lead or at heel at all times.
What makes it special?
Lindisfarne has international recognition: it is a 'Ramsar site', a wetland of international significance.
The secrets of the dunes
Brought ashore by water and wind, the sand of the dunes is gradually tamed by marram grass. Once stable, the dunes support many other plants. Early forget-me-nots are among those that hug the ground and need little water. Many insects appreciate this environment, including 'woolly bears' (tiger moth caterpillars). Dark green fritillary and grayling butterflies bask in the sun in July and August. Big brown-lipped snails are also found.
Dark green fritillary
Every autumn, the jet-set fly in! Six internationally important species of wildfowl and wading birds overwinter here. Light-bellied brent geese, barnacle geese and pinkfooted geese are joined by wigeon, grey plovers and bar-tailed godwits as the other VIPs at this 'seaside hotel', where all their favourite food is laid on.